Configuring Python to Access AWS using the BOTO API

In this article I will describe the step by step process for installing the Boto API under Python 2.6 that I used on my Centos 6.3 server.  Boto can be used to create and manage AWS infrastructure from a Python program or script.  Once I have installed and configured Python access using the API, I will demonstrate a “hello world” type script for starting existing server instances and also for shutting down those instances. Continue reading

Adding pip to Python 2.6

This is a very short article on how to install pip under Python 2.6.  I am doing this so that I can load the Amazon Web Services Python API called Boto.  However, since this looks like a procedure I may need to repeat in the future, I decided to make it a separate article so that I will be able to find it and refer to it easier when I need it. Continue reading

Installing 64 Bit Centos Linux 6.3 as a VMware Guest under ESXi 5.5

This article captures the step by step process I followed for installing the 64 bit version of Centos Linux 6.3 as VMware guest under ESXi 5.5.  In order to follow this process, it will be necessary to first install VMWare ESXi 5.5 host software and then install and configure the vSphere 5.5 client software.  Please refer to the previous articles that I have written describing the step by step processes needed to perform both of those tasks. Continue reading

Installing VMware vSphere Client 5.5

After ESXi 5.5 has been successfully installed, we would like to create guest VMs.  Before we can do that, we must first install the vSphere client which is used to manage ESXi.  This article contains the step by step procedure for installing and configuring the client so that it can be used to create guest VMs under ESXi 5.5. Continue reading

Installing VMWare ESXi 5.5

Here is the step by step process that I used to install VMware ESXi 5.5 in my home lab.  For this article, I will be using nested virtualization and will install this product using VMware Player.  I have preconfigured the Player environment to have 2 CPUs, 4GB of RAM and a 40GB local hard disk.  I also mounted the ESXi 5.5 iso on the DVD drive so that it would boot during startup.  The process will start by turning on the server. Continue reading

Adding space to an existing Linux 5.8 file system running under VirtualBox

While working with some VMs in the lab, I realized that I needed to increase the size of a file system.  This is actually not that big a deal since I typically create template servers and clone them.  It would very easy to just create a server that had the correct file system size and clone it.

However, as effective as that solution would be, it did not sound like much fun.  As a result I did a bit of research using Google and found several procedures for extending the file systems under VirtualBox using the Gparted utility.  I have used this utility in the past and know that it is effective.  But, again this just didn’t sound like much fun.

As I was about to try the Gparted process, I happened to find a blog post by Frank Munz at www.munzandmore.com.  I don’t know anything about Frank or his blog, but the post interested me because instead of using Gparted, he used the Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM).  I have used LVM many years ago as a System Administrator, but had not really used it in the past few years.  As a matter of fact, 2 articles I had written years ago about using LVM with AIX and also with HPUX are still referred to by some of my readers.

Seeing his blog post made me think that using LVM instead of Gparted would be a lot more fun.  So this article describes the step by step process I used, following his lead to extend the root file system of an Oracle Linux 5.8 server running under VirtualBox from 16GB to 34GB. Continue reading

Setting up a 2 Server LAMP stack in Amazon AWS

NOTE:  The screenshots in this article show the Amazon AWS management console interface available in May 2014.

Overview

This article contains the step by step procedure for setting up a 2 server LAMP environment in the Amazon AWS cloud.  The first server will be used for Apache and PHP, while the second server will be used for MySQL.  This process consists of the following major steps:

  1. Setup the AWS Environment
  2. Create and configure the Apache/PHP Linux server.
  3. Create and configure the MySQL Linux server.
  4. Configure and verify connectivity between the Apache/PHP server and the MySQL server.

When this process is complete then you will have an proof of concept environment ready for hosting a LAMP application in Amazon AWS. Continue reading

Setting Up a 2 Server LAMP Stack in Microsoft Azure

NOTE:  The screenshots in this article show the Azure management console interface available in April 2014.

Overview

This article contains the step by step procedure for setting up a 2 server LAMP environment in the Microsoft Azure cloud.  The first server will be used for Apache and PHP, while the second server will be used for MySQL.  This process consists of the following major steps:

  1.  Setup the Azure Environment
  2. Create and configure the Apache/PHP Linux server.
  3. Create and configure the MySQL Linux server.
  4. Configure and verify connectivity between the Apache/PHP server and the MySQL server.

Continue reading

Using Chef to add TFTP and DHCP to Kickstart server for PXE Boot clients

In a recent article I described the process for using Chef 11 to create a Kickstart server for installing Centos 6 over the network.  That server runs Apache web server and has a directory structure underneath the document root which contains the kickstart configuration file and the Centos 6 installation files.  The Kickstart server will respond to HTTP requests and will perform a network installation using the configuration file.  For testing purposes, I created an ESXi guest VM which booted from the Centos 6 Network Install DVD.  From the boot menu, I manually appended “ks=http://192.168.1.194/pub/kickstart/ks.cfg” to the startup command.  This successfully started an automated host installation over the network using Kickstart.

This article will take the automation a step further by using the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) boot process.  PXE will totally automate the network installation so that as soon as a new host is booted, it will automatically contact the Kickstart server and download a properly configured operating system over the network.  To do this, it will require adding DHCP and TFTP servers to the network. Using these services, the PXE process will get an IP address, download an initial boot image and boot with a configuration to contact the Kickstart server for the operating system installation. Continue reading

Using Chef 11 to configure a Centos 6 Kickstart server

In this article I would like describe the step by step process that I used to configure Chef to automatically configuring a Kickstart server.  This server is used to automate host creation in an ESXi 5.1 infrastructure.  I have previously documented the manual process to create a Kickstart server for Centos 5 in a Virtualbox environment.  The steps are similar for ESXi except for slight differences in the installation/configuration of the virtual server hardware and the use of Centos 6.  Since I have documented both ESXi and VirtualBox virtual hardware installation/configuration in previous articles, I will not be covering those details here.

Continue reading